Premature hippo a happy hit for Ohio zoo after gorilla death

CINCINNATI (AP) — A prematurely born hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo has been providing regular doses of happiness for animal lovers.

And all the public affection for baby Fiona (fee-OHN’-uh) has also given an emotional lift to zoo workers after months of backlash over the fatal shooting there of Harambe (huh-RAHM’-beh), a gorilla who became a pop culture phenomenon in death.

Video updates such as Fiona taking a bottle, splashing in a pool or learning to run have drawn tens of millions of online views. Thousands of people have bought TeamFiona T-shirts, and thousands more have eaten Fiona-themed bakery treats.

Zoo officials say zoos are increasingly using new ways for the public to see the animals and their care, such as the recent livestream of a giraffe giving birth in New York.